A Few Coins

Valerie Rosen

Montreal, Canada

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_A few coins for a wish and a prayer. Coins in the hand of a Zen Buddha statue at Tokeiji (東慶寺) founded in 1285. “In a feudal age where women normally couldn’t initiate a divorce, this temple was a sanctuary where women fled to break their ties. For almost 600 years, from its founding until the Meiji period, Tokeiji protected the code of en-kiri (縁切) or divorce for women, and was a temple where women who were seeking release from marriage could find refuge. In 1871, this tradition was broken due to the anti-Buddhist movement at the time, and in 1902, the curtain was closed on Tokeiji’s role as a nunnery, and the temple became a monastery.”
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